Monday 9 May 2011

Mixed Berry Couscous

Mixed Berry Couscous
from Commonsense Vegetarian, Murdoch Books, 2011.

‘Commonsense’ is its name and it portrays commonsense clearly from its CWA-looking cover through to the long introduction explaining the whys and wherefores of vegetarian cooking. And then you reach the recipes. Here you are suddenly opened up to a vast range of different meals that you can easily make at home. The cover blurb claims that they are ‘easy everyday recipes’. From a check through the instructions it would seem that this is so; frozen pastry sheets are used instead of making your own, for example.

It is a thick book and every page has a new recipe with an accompanying full colour photograph. I didn’t count but the cover says there are more than 300.

The recipes are spread over a wide variety of cuisines meaning that the range of ingredients is also wide. Thankfully there is a large list of the, perhaps, more unusual ingredients with explanations in the introduction.

Having some couscous left over from a tagine I decided to make the mixed berry couscous. We had it as a dessert though it was listed as a breakfast meal.

Now that I’ve tried it out, I know that couscous is easy to prepare. In this dessert the hot liquid that is poured over it is apple and cranberry juice. Then it has mixed berries added, a dob of yoghurt on top and some maple syrup poured over it.

I was glad the maple syrup was added for the cranberry juice had a bitterness that I felt didn’t go over well with the berries. The maple syrup helped mask this a little.

While it was a pleasant dish I was not overly keen on the couscous as an accompaniment for the berries; the soft texture of the berries didn't marry well with the heaviness of the couscous. From the ingredients I thought that this would be a special dish but, though I enjoyed it, I wouldn’t make it again.

Taste: ✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

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